The latest medical research on General Practice (Family Medicine)

The research magnet gathers the latest research from around the web, based on your specialty area. Below you will find a sample of some of the most recent articles from reputable medical journals about general practice (family medicine) gathered by our medical AI research bot.

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Efficiency as a determinant of loyalty among users of a Community of Clinical Practice: a comparative study between the implementation and consolidation phases.

BMC Family Practice

A community of clinical practice called the Online Communication Tool between Primary and Hospital Care (ECOPIH) was created to enable primary care and specialist care professionals to communicate with each other in order to resolve real clinical cases, thereby improving communication and coordination between care levels. The present work seeks to analyse whether ECOPIH makes it possible to reduce the number of referrals. To that end, the objectives are: (1) To find out the degree of loyalty among ECOPIH users, by comparing the medical professionals' profiles in the tool's implementation phase to those in its consolidation phase. (2) To evaluate the degree of fulfilment of users' expectations, by establishing the determining factors that had an influence on the physicians' intention to use ECOPIH in the implementation phase and observing whether its use had an effective, direct impact on the number of patient referrals that primary care physicians made to specialist care professionals.

Two studies were conducted. Based on a survey of all the physicians in a Primary Care area, Study 1 was a descriptive study in ECOPIH's implementation phase. Study 2 was a randomised intervention study of ECOPIH users in the tool's consolidation phase. The results from both studies were compared. Various bivariate and multivariate statistical techniques (exploratory factor analysis, cluster analysis, logistic regression analysis and ANOVA) were used in both studies, which were conducted on a sample of 111 and 178 physicians, respectively.

We confirmed the existence of an ECOPIH user profile stable across both phases: under-50-year-old women. Regarding the second objective, there were two particular findings. First, the discriminant factors that had an influence on greater ECOPIH use were habitual Social media website and app use and Perceived usefulness for reducing costs. Second, PC professionals who were ECOPIH members made fewer referrals to SC professionals in Cardiology, Endocrinology and Gastroenterology than older PC professionals who were not ECOPIH members.

The use of a community of clinical practice by primary care and specialist care professionals helps to reduce the number of referrals among medical professionals.

General practitioners' views on use of patient reported outcome measures in primary care: a cross-sectional survey and qualitative study.

BMC Family Practice

Patient reported outcome measures (PROMs) are increasingly used to assess impact of disease and treatment on quality of life and symptoms; however, their use in primary care is fragmented. We aimed to understand how PROMs are currently being used in primary care, the barriers and facilitators of this use and if appropriate how it might be optimised.

Cross-sectional survey and semi-structured interviews among general practitioners (GPs) in England. GPs' opinions were explored using an electronic, self-completed questionnaire disseminated to 100 GPs via an online doctors' community and semi-structured qualitative interviews with 25 GPs.

Most GPs surveyed (77/100; 77%) reported using one or more PROM, primarily to aid clinical management (n = 66) or as screening/diagnostic tools (n = 62). Qualitative interviews highlighted challenges in identifying and selecting PROMs; however, some GPs valued PROMs for shared decision making and to direct patient discussions. The interviews identified key barriers to PROM use including: time constraints; insufficient knowledge; lack of integration into clinical systems; and PROMs being mandated without consultation or explanation. Evidence of the benefit of PROMs is required to promote uptake and use of PROMs in primary care.

Implementation of PROMs in primary care requires integration with clinical systems, a bottom-up approach to PROM selection and system design involving meaningful consultation with patients and primary care clinicians and training/support for use.

Lucio Phenomenon: Sequelae of Neglected Leprosy.

Korean J Fam

Lucio phenomenon is a potentially fatal leprosy reaction seen in pure, primitive, and diffuse form of lepromatous leprosy. It is a globally restric...

Using digital and social media for health promotion: A social marketing approach for addressing co-morbid physical and mental health.

Aust J Rural

This study examines consumer engagement with a social marketing digital media strategy designed to support the implementation of Equally Well-a program to improve the physical health of people living with mental illness.

The main outcome measures were the number of people from each category accessing the media, making connections and downloading resources.

The program has resulted in more than 24 500 website hits per annum, 3500 tweets and 14.5 million Twitter impressions with good bounce and download rates. The analysis suggested the materials were mostly used by clinicians and service managers using desktop computers.

Using a co-design approach, the study demonstrated the potential of a social marketing digital media strategy as a health promotion methodology. The paper has provided a framework for implementing and evaluating the effectiveness of digital social media campaigns that can help consumers, carers, clinicians and service planners address the challenges of rural health service delivery and the tyranny of distance.

Interpersonal violence and violent re-injury in the Northern Territory.

Aust J Rural

To analyse incidence of prior emergency department presentations for interpersonal violence and demographics for a series of hospital admissions for interpersonal violence injuries.

Patient demographics, injury location, assault mechanism, alleged perpetrator, time/day of event, alcohol involvement, clinical outcome and prior emergency department presentations for interpersonal violence.

A total of 248 admissions for patients with Injury Severity Score > 9 due to interpersonal violence were identified. Indigenous females over-represented non-Indigenous females (35.4% vs 5.0%, P < .001). The majority of victims had evidence of alcohol intake at presentation. Victims of single-punch head injuries were mostly male and non-Indigenous, whilst Indigenous persons experienced significantly more blunt and penetrating weapon injuries (66.7% and 68.1%). Forty-three per cent of patients had a preceding emergency department presentation for interpersonal violence; female gender, Indigenous ethnicity, evidence of alcohol intake, and urban location of injury were independent risk factors for prior interpersonal violence presentation.

Interpersonal violence is a recurring disease for a just under half of those presenting to a Top End hospital with moderate to severe injuries. Indigenous ethnicity, female gender and evidence of alcohol intake are predictive of prior interpersonal violence presentations. Patient under-reporting and incomplete data may underestimate the true prevalence of interpersonal violence presentations in rural and remote locales.

Using quality improvement strategies to strengthen regional systems for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander eye health in the Northern Territory.

Aust J Rural

In the Katherine region, Northern Territory, barriers to eye care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people include unclear eye care referral processes, challenges coordinating patient eye care between various providers, complex socioeconomic determinants and a lengthy outpatient ophthalmology waiting list.

Quality improvement strategies informed by regional data (clinical audits and survey) included increasing service delivery to match eye care needs, primary eye care training for Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services staff, updating Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services primary care templates and forming a regional eye care coalition group.

Post-implementation, rates and frequency of recorded optometry examinations, number of spectacles prescribed and rates of annual dilated fundus examinations for patients with diabetes increased. There was a decrease in the number of patients with diabetes who had never had an eye examination. Eye care stakeholders perceived a marked improvement in the effectiveness of the regional eye care system.

Our findings highlight the importance of engaging services and stakeholders to ensure a systems approach that is evidence-informed, contextually appropriate and reflects commitment to improved eye health outcomes.

Pilot study of the effectiveness of a Mindful Self-Care and Resiliency program for rural doctors in Australia.

Aust J Rural

Rural doctors are difficult to recruit and retain. Burnout and stress in the medical workforce fluctuates according to location. Overall, doctors have an elevated risk of depression and suicide compared to the general population and other professionals. Higher levels of occupational stress also effect patient care, levels of work satisfaction and relationships with others. This study evaluated the effectiveness, acceptability, feasibility and sustainability of the Mindful Self-Care and Resiliency Program.

Thirteen doctors took part in the program with seven providing pre and post survey responses. Qualitative data were collected via semi-structured telephone interviews with an additional four rural doctors. Intervention The Mindful Self-Care and Resiliency program consisted of a 4-hour face-to-face session and three 1-hour video-conference follow up sessions. Main outcome measures Burnout, negative affect, well-being and psychological strain were assessed using self-report measures before and after taking part in the program. Results The majority (six out of seven) of the doctors showed reductions in burnout, psychological strain and negative affect following participation in the program. The qualitative data indicated that all doctors gained new skills: self-awareness, reflection and self-care. They also reported improved interaction with colleagues and patients, to whom they passed on their new learning. Conclusion This preliminary investigation of the effectiveness and feasibility of Mindful Self-Care and Resiliency for rural doctors indicates that the program has promise in improving the emotional well-being of this occupational group. Although this study captured approximately one-third of the Emerald workforce, further research with a larger sample is required to confirm these findings.

Faecal immunochemical test-based colorectal cancer screening in Mexico: an initial experience.

Family Practice

In middle-income countries, the burden of colorectal cancer (CRC) is increasing in parallel with resources for diagnosis and treatment. There is a potential benefit of CRC screening programs in Mexico.

Since there are no organized screening programs in the country, we explored the willingness of individuals to complete a faecal immunochemical testing (FIT) based CRC screening program and its potential benefit in Mexico.

We conducted a CRC screening program pilot in Veracruz, Mexico, during 2015-16 using FIT. Individuals with FIT results >100 ng of haemoglobin/ml buffer were referred for diagnostic colonoscopy.

Of 473 FIT kits distributed to adults aged 50-75, 85.8% (406) were completed by participants and analysed in the laboratory. Of these, 5.9% (24/406) of test results showed >100 ng haemoglobin/ml. Twenty-one participants completed colonoscopy. The positive predictive value of FIT >100 ng haemoglobin/ml for premalignant lesions was 33%.

These results provide preliminary evidence of the willingness of individuals to complete FIT-based CRC screening program in Mexico. However, further evaluation of health systems resources will be needed prior to large-scale implementation of CRC screening programs.

Family medicine physicians' confidence and perceived effectiveness in delivering health behaviour change interventions.

Family Practice

Approximately 40% of deaths in the USA are attributable to modifiable health behaviours. Despite clear recommendations and practice guidelines, primary care physicians (PCPs) generally do not dedicate much time to addressing health behaviours, thereby missing opportunities to improve patient well-being.

To examine what health behaviour change techniques PCPs use with their patients, including frequency of use, confidence in and perceived effectiveness of those interventions.

Using a cross-sectional study design, family medicine resident and faculty physicians (n = 68) from three residency training programs completed an anonymous online survey. Questions explored their use of, confidence in and perceived effectiveness of health behaviour change interventions for six domains: physical activity, healthy eating, medication adherence, smoking cessation, sleep and alcohol reduction. Qualitative responses to open-ended questions were double coded by two independent raters. PCPs' open-ended responses to questions regarding specific intervention techniques were coded using an evidence-based behaviour change taxonomy.

Although PCPs indicated that they address health behaviour topics quite frequently with their patients, they reported only moderate confidence and low-to-moderate perceived effectiveness with their interventions. The most frequently cited technique was providing instruction (telling patients what to do). PCPs reported lowest frequency of addressing, lowest confidence and lowest effectiveness regarding helping patients decrease their use of alcohol. Insufficient time and perceived low patient motivation were commonly cited barriers.

These findings highlight the need for the development and evaluation of educational curricula to teach physicians brief, evidence-based approaches to helping patients make these changes in their health-related behaviours.

Barriers and facilitators to GP-patient communication about emotional concerns in UK primary care: a systematic review.

Family Practice

In the UK, general practitioners (GPs) are the most commonly used providers of care for emotional concerns.

To update and synthesize literature on barriers and facilitators to GP-patient communication about emotional concerns in UK primary care.

We conducted a systematic search on MEDLINE (OvidSP), PsycInfo and EMBASE, supplemented by citation chasing. Eligible papers focused on how GPs and adult patients in the UK communicated about emotional concerns. Results were synthesized using thematic analysis.

Across 30 studies involving 342 GPs and 720 patients, four themes relating to barriers were: (i) emotional concerns are difficult to disclose; (ii) tension between understanding emotional concerns as a medical condition or arising from social stressors; (iii) unspoken assumptions about agency resulting in too little or too much involvement in decisions and (iv) providing limited care driven by little time. Three facilitative themes were: (v) a human connection improves identification of emotional concerns and is therapeutic; (vi) exploring, explaining and negotiating a shared understanding or guiding patients towards new understandings and (vii) upfront information provision and involvement manages expectations about recovery and improves engagement in treatment.

The findings suggest that treatment guidelines should acknowledge: the therapeutic value of a positive GP-patient relationship; that diagnosis is a two-way negotiated process rather than an activity strictly in the doctor's domain of expertise; and the value of exploring and shaping new understandings about patients' emotional concerns and their management.

Anemia management in non-menopausal women in a primary care setting: a prospective evaluation of clinical practice.

BMC Family Practice

The study aimed to analyze anemia management in non-pregnant, and non-menopausal women aged from 18 to 50 years old, in a French primary care setting.

An observational descriptive prospective study was conducted between November 2018 and February 2019. Inclusion criteria were as followed: anemia diagnosed in women aged from 18 to 50, not pregnant and not menopausal. Quantitative and qualitative data were anonymized and collected through an electronic survey. Investigating general practitioners completed the questionnaire for each newly diagnosed woman. Mean values and medians were calculated for the quantitative data. Answers to the open questions were encoded manually and proportions of the different modalities have been calculated.

Altogether, 43 women with anemia were ascertained. Moderate microcytic anemia, due to an iron deficiency in a context of menorrhagia, was the most observed anemia profile. The mean value of hemoglobin was 10.5 ± 1 g/dl. Among these women: 32 (74%) presented an iron deficiency, 17 (53%) had inappropriate intakes, and 9 (28%) reported menorrhagia. For 17 (40%) women, unnecessary or inappropriate exams were prescribed. The investigations did not allow to establish a differential diagnosis for 12 women (28%). Even for similar clinical situations, anemia management was variable. Among the women who presented iron deficiency, 15 (47%) were informed about an iron-rich diet and received a daily iron supplementation of ferrous sulfate between 80 mg and 160 mg.

Our study highlights that, in the absence of specific national guidelines for anemia management in non-pregnant, non-menopausal women in primary care settings, French GPs undergo various clinical management strategies leading to a heterogeneous, sometimes inappropriate follow-up. Women with iron deficiency were prescribed higher daily iron supplementation than recommended, according to new evidence, suggesting a maximal daily dose of 50 mg of elementary iron in a context of Hepcidin up-regulation in the case of an iron overload. Additional longitudinal studies with a bigger sample size and randomized controlled trials are needed to confirm our results and to elaborate national guidelines.

Evaluating the Effect of Family-Centered Intervention Program on Care Burden and Self-Efficacy of Hemodialysis Patient Caregivers Based on Social Cognitive Theory: A Randomized Clinical Trial Study.

Korean J Fam

Caregivers of hemodialysis patients spend a large amount of time providing care to these patients while tolerating fatigue and stress. This study evaluated a family-centered empowerment program on the care burden and self-efficacy of hemodialysis patient caregivers based on social cognitive theory.

In this randomized clinical trial, 70 family caregivers of hemodialysis patients in Isfahan, Iran, were selected and randomly allocated to intervention and control groups, in 2015-2016. Two questionnaires were used to collect the family caregivers' characteristics, care burden, and self-efficacy, and patients' negative and positive outcomes expectancies. Data were analyzed using SPSS before, immediately after, and 2 months after the intervention.

There was no significant difference in the mean scores of care burden, positive outcomes expectancies, negative outcomes expectancies, and self-efficacy between the two groups before the intervention. However, there were significant differences in the post-test and follow-up data analyses (P<0.05).

Given the degenerative nature of chronic kidney disease, it can be considered as a source of long-term and chronic stress for caregivers. Therefore, by implementing an empowerment program, caregiving behaviors can be improved, positive outcomes expectancies can be increased, and negative outcomes expectancies can be reduced.